On June 27 the IT Jazz Conference took place in Lviv, in the course of which IT professionals, investors, and government officials discussed the future of the IT industry in Ukraine. During the event, Nick Cotton, Managing Director of DTZ Ukraine, presented the project of the Innovation District IT Park, the concept of which DTZ has been working on over the past 6 months.
The Client is Lviv IT Cluster, a community of leading information technology companies, which together with universities and local authorities improve and develop the IT industry in Lviv.
“Everyone knows that the IT industry in Ukraine and Lviv in particular, is developing very quickly, and a key factor in the success of a company is the attraction and retention of employees. Companies are increasingly aware of the need to secure efficient and flexible space, creating an atmosphere of maximum comfort for work and, thereby, increasing the wellbeing and productivity of their professionals. Working on the concept of Innovation District IT Park, we conducted a comprehensive real estate market research in Lviv, analyzed the best international cases, made recommendations regarding the choice of the most suitable land site for the project, and developed the concept that not only meets the requirements of occupiers, but is also financially feasible”, – said Nick Cotton.
More detailed comments about the research that formed the basis for the concept development were given by Marta Kostiuk, Director of Research and Development Consultancy of DTZ Ukraine:
“In order to develop the most efficient concept of the project, we undertook a comprehensive survey among the owners and top managers of 35 Ukrainian and international IT companies operating in Lviv, who employ between 37% to 41% of all IT professionals in the city, and cumulatively occupy approximately 85,000 sq m of office space (or more than 70% of total office stock in Lviv).
We asked about major advantages and disadvantages of the office space these companies currently occupy in Lviv, the most important amenity facilities to support their daily office operations, as well as about the companies’ development plans for the next 3 years and whether they would consider relocation to other office premises.
The survey revealed that the key amenity facilities, which are essential for employees of the IT companies, are a fitness center (100% of respondents), a quality kindergarten (90%), conference facilities (80%), quality housing nearby (60%) and a hotel (50%). The majority of respondents are dissatisfied with quality of office space they currently occupy in Lviv, and more than 90% of them would consider their office relocation in the city.
In addition to the IT companies, we also discussed general vision and interest to the project with the Lviv local authorities, as well as the senior representatives of the top three technical universities in Western Ukraine.
As part of the assignment, DTZ analysed the existing real estate developments in other countries, which have similar strategic objectives and are designed to meet the infrastructure needs of the IT and high-growth knowledge-based companies. We believe that such schemes, as the High Tech Campus Eindhoven in the Netherlands, as well as Graphisoft Park and Infopark in Hungary, are particularly suitable case studies for the project in Lviv.
The comprehensive understanding of business needs of the IT companies in Lviv, their requirements for office space and supporting amenity facilities, as well as critical analysis of the best international practices and trends combined with DTZ’s knowledge of property markets in Lviv and Ukraine on the whole, allowed us to develop the concept for the innovation district that not only meets modern international standards, but also is able to meet long-term requirements of its occupiers / residents, as well as to be financially viable, attractive to investors and, ultimately, deliverable.
As part of the involvement, DTZ considered three land plots of area from 3 ha to around 12 ha in view of their suitability for the planned Innovation District IT Park in Lviv, and provided the strategic recommendations to our client – the Lviv IT Cluster.”
The main objective of the Innovation District IT Park project is to create a new innovative district that will ensure a comfortable working environment for the IT professionals and will enhance long-term development of the knowledge-based innovation industry in Lviv.
Therefore, the Innovation District IT Park in Lviv will comprise the following functional components:
DTZ believes that the Innovation District IT Park in Lviv has all chances to become a successful project since it was initiated by the major IT companies as its key future occupiers and is based on their real needs, as well as it incorporates the best international practices and reflects the requirements of investors. The Innovation District IT Park project not only gives impetus to development of quality real estate schemes, but also improves the image of Lviv as being a dynamic and one of major investment attractive destinations in Ukraine.
“Innovation District IT Park is not just an office, it is something bigger: a modern infrastructure and education in one. This is our next step after training talents as we want make sure that they stay here”, – says Andrew Pavliv, N-iX CEO and Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Lviv IT Cluster.
“In Lviv, the number of IT specialists is constantly growing, and the sphere is becoming more popular. Already, we have the largest number of employees in the IT sector per capita in Ukraine. We see that companies are getting bigger and need the infrastructure of a new generation that would meet the expectations of today’s business. We want to give IT professionals and companies the infrastructure that will allow them to work comfortably and develop in the city. Our industry has moved from consumption stage to infrastructure development. This is a very positive signal for the market”, – says Stepan Veselovskyi, CEO of Lviv IT Cluster, which is developing the project.
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